Salad with Nopal Cactus (Ensalada de nopales a la mexicana)

Ever tried a salad with cactus? This refreshing salad is frequently eaten in Mexico, in this case we serve it over tostadas but it can be served as side dish to any other mexican main dish; the nopal cactus has a very good nutritional value as well being delicious...

| Yield: 4 servings | Preparation: | Cooking time: | Total time: | | by:

Nopal Salad

Recipe for Ensalada de nopales a la mexicana


* 4 nopal pads (prickly pears)
* 2 red tomatoes, chopped
* 1/2 onion, chopped very fine
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
* salt, to taste
* 2 tablespoon olive oil
* crumbled panela cheese, or other cheese if unavailable
* Tostadas


1) First, carefully remove all the spines or thorns by scraping with a knife, cutting in their opposite direction; once the cactus spines are all removed, slice the cactus pads in strips. Wash thoroughly, and check again for any spines you might have forgotten.

2) Cook the cactus strips until cooked but still a bit crunchy (al dente); drain in a strainer and cool down with cool water. Pour the cooked cactus strips in a bowl, then mix with chopped cilantro, and a bit of salt. Set aside in the refrigerator, until the cactus strips are cold.

3) Chop the onion, the chiles, the tomato, and remaining cilantro. You can cook then refrigerate the onion if you do not like them raw. Pour the onions, tomatoes and olive oil in the bowl and mix with the nopal strips, season with a touch of salt.

Serve this mexican nopal salad over the tostadas (or serve as is...), with some crumbled cheese spread over the tostadas

a hot pepper